Mar 28, 2013

Wrong Decisions

Breathe in, breathe out, Repeat

The art of making decisions has always been a topic for debate. Who is the right kind of decision maker? We roll our eyes at those who can never make one, judge the ones that make them too quickly, translate spontaneity as irresponsible, but tell the ones who plan too far ahead to just relax. What is the perfect formula for making a decision? The right one at that.

Truth is, there is none and sometimes the freedom for making a decision feels more like a burden. We fought so hard as teenagers for the responsibility to make our own decisions, but now that I am in my early twenties, it feels chaotic not having a four-year plan laid out in front of me. There is beauty in this chaos I know, but I have been struggling to find it.

When I make a decision, I think of everything. Even if my decision may seem spontaneous and of the blue, it has honestly been carefully calculated. I am already trying to find solutions to problems I know I am going to have next year April. This is my problem. This has been my problem for months. It is an easier pill to swallow if I say months, but honestly it has been almost a year. Ever since I graduated, my radar for making any sort of plan or decision has gone out the window. My "transitional year" (also easier, less rude way of calling this year) is almost up and I need to get it together.

My heart, head and bank account go at each other like a bunch of crazy felines as soon as the light bulb goes off about a new plan. My heart follows this hopeful idea that everything will be okay, my head makes sure that it is at least logical and my bank account just says NO. Lately I have been listening to my bank account if that gives you a taste of what it has been like.

Well, it's time to stop. I have lost my confidence to trust a decision. Even if other people don't agree, even if it seems a little illogical at first, I need to trust that I will be okay. I need to trust myself that I can handle whatever the universe throws at me. I need to regain my confidence that I know how to make it work and I have the drive, support, motivation and passion to do so, even if my "adult" sensors to live comfortably keep going off. Be happy or live comfortably. It is a constant battle and rare occasion when both can happen together. I applaud those who find that balance.

Sometimes the decision happens for you (like mine for quitting my 9-5 to pursue a graphic design/photography career - more on this later), but sometimes there is no one holding your hand and opening the right door. You can't calculate the outcome of every decision you make. Eventually any decision you make leads you to where you're suppose to be anyway, right?

Be fearless. The only mistakes we make are the ones we don't learn from.
I guess I should go make my decision now.

Photo was taken in 2011 with my first roll of Holga film.

Mar 26, 2013

Tuesday Tunes: Boy Series Mix I

While Taylor Swift writes songs and Adele makes Grammy-winning albums... I make playlists.

Here is a new playlist series for all my little boy crushes I have had throughout the years. Some small, some heartbreaking but nonetheless have made me who I am today. Music plays a huge part in any relationship or friendship and no matter what, brings you back to that place. Good or bad.

Each playlist represents each "crush". As silly as it is we all have either written a poem, a journal entry, write quotes or anything else to describe how we felt. This is my version.

Here is the first mix //
01 | Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
02 | Oh, It Is Love - Hellogoodbye
03 | First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
04 | Saying The Opposite - Pico vs Island Trees
05 | Suckers - Reel Big Fish
06 | Status - RX Bandits
07 | Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater
08 | I Feel Fine - Riddlin' Kids
09 | Every You Every Me - Placebo
10 | Fix You - Coldplay
11 | Look After You - The Fray
12 | Bug Eyes - Dredg
13 | Cannonball - Damien Rice
14 | Screaming Infidelities - Dashboard Confessional
15 | How To Save a Life - The Fray
16 | Everything I Once Had - The Honorary Title
17 | I Love the Rain the Most - Joe Purdy
18 | The Hardest Part - Coldplay
19 | Nothing Better - The Postal Service
20 | Brand New Colony - The Postal Service
21 | White Horse - Taylor Swift
22 | Forever & Always - Taylor Swift
23 | Gotta Get Over You - Aslyn

Listen on: 8tracks

Mar 15, 2013

Boston | DAVIDsTEA

While we were on the waiting list for our brunch at Aquitaine in South End, we stumbled upon this lovely tea shop called DAVIDsTEA. We were instantly in love! A plethora of loose leaf tea with pure chai samples? Yes, please! The two gentlemen who were working there were just the friendliest, down-to-earth people I had met in Boston so far. One was even from North Carolina and went to a high school 25 minutes from ours. Definitely a firm believe in six degrees of separation.

They have the HUGEST selection of loose leaf tea and of course I had to take some home. The shopaholic in me also bought one of their "perfect mugs" and a mint tin to hold my tea. I am in tea drinking heaven! I can't wait to try all their fun flavors like popcorn at the movies or stick to my favorites like chamomile.

For more Boston photos, click here.

Mar 14, 2013

Find me at The Goad Abode today!

I am so delighted to be guest posting for Beth of The Goad Abode today! Check out how I spruce up a boring ol' cubicle and office... and it won't even hurt your wallet :) I may have had to learn the hard way (aka trying to fix an oversized rug into a cubicle), but after some trial and error, I found much simpler ways to add your own touch. Read the post here.

Also, did you hear the rumor? I'm on Facebook!

Mar 13, 2013

Facebook Official

You know what they say, it's not official unless it's not on Facebook, so I put a "ring" on it and made a Facebook page! After endless internships of creating and maintaing Facebook pages, you would think I would do the same for my blog but better late than never?

So friends, if you would like to stay up to date with everything The 25th Hour, come join me on Facebook! I would love to meet all of you and connect. Thank you for all the support you have shown me throughout the years. This is just the beginning my friends! I have lots of updates and news pertaining to my professional future I can't wait to share it with you all soon. Stay tuned!!

Mar 11, 2013

Boston | Boston Public Library

This is the most magnificent library I have ever seen. We weren't able check out (haha, no pun intended) the entirety of the library, but I saw enough to describe it as timeless, grand and classic. Even with the greenery covered in snow, I was still able to appreciate the courtyard. I can just imagine how perfect it would feel in the other seasons with the plants, fountains and people crowding the area lost in books.

I can't wait to explore this library in its entirety one day.
I would feel like Matilda at the library! (Please tell me you understood that reference).

Ps: Aren't my best friends just gorgeous?! :D

For more Boston posts, click here.

Mar 8, 2013

Boston | Aquitaine

I felt like the classiest girl, born and raised in the city when I went to brunch at Aquitaine with my two best friends to start off our Boston weekend away! This corner restaurant was the perfect blend of exquisite, laid back and delicious. With a few cocktails and a bloody mary, we cozied up in our corner booth and had to stop ourselves from ordering everything on the menu. The forty minute wait was well worth it, service was phenomenal and I can only dream of this food until my next trip to Boston.

Brunch is officially my favorite meal, ever.

We ordered:
+ Salmon Benedict (add avocado)
+ Brioche French Toast
+ Aquitaine Burger


Mar 7, 2013

Boston | Brattle Book Shop

Renée took us to one of her favorite book shops in Boston called Brattle Book Shop. What a perfect little shop! The exterior alone is so inviting with its larger than life pencil sign and open bookstore with discounted books in the space next to them. It was three, four(?) floors of pure heaven! They even had a section for "Mountaineering". Yeah, I kind of freaked out.

In the photos above, do you see the stairwell with poster board photos of books? That is a display of all the first editions they have. I didn't go into their "Rare Books" room, but they have a floor dedicated to their collection they sell. How wonderful would it be to own the first edition of your favorite novel?!

Local book shops are one of my favorite finds. They go beyond the stories found in the books. Definitely check them out if you're ever in Boston! For more Boston photos, click here.

Mar 6, 2013

10. Featured Artist + Shop Owner | A Girl Named Leney

Original photo by: Meagan Abell

Talk about someone you want to grab some coffee or tea with! For the 10th edition of Featured Artist + Shop Owner, I am thrilled to introduce Leney, the girl behind A Girl Named Leney. Her handmade shop features knitted wear and jewelry to keep you extra warm and fashionable. Her photography and blog constantly inspire me to practice what I love and find a way to keep it relevant. I'll stop rambling and let her do all the talking now :)

1. Introduce yourself and some background info :)
My name is Leney and I'm an artist who resides in Virginia where there's both a little country and a little city. I find inspiration in both! I work full time designing and creating things for my Etsy shop which holds a variety of knits and jewelry pieces. Additionally, I'm also a part time photographer. Taking photos is another one of my many passions! When I'm not knitting or taking pictures, you can find me making lists of everything, thrifting, watching Gilmore Girls, finding excuses to travel and taking care of a bunny named Lewis.

2. What initiated this love and passion for knitting? How did it develop into owning a shop?
My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was eight years old. I remember sitting on our taupe colored couch in the living room of my old house fumbling with these red plastic needles and multi colored purple and green yarn (which, at the time, I thought was beautiful). It took a year or two for knitting to become the obsession it is for me now, but I've pretty much loved it ever since. I grew up being a very artsy child though. I learned how to sew at a young age as well and I was always known for making things and being creative. I had the dream to open up an online shop to sell my creations early on (though as a kid it started as setting my stuff up on a table at the end of my driveway), and when I heard about Etsy a few years ago that dream became a reality!

3. Where do you find the biggest inspirations for your products?
This is such a hard question! I honestly find inspiration in so many things. I think vintage fashion is really fun and something I always love looking at, whether it's on blogs or in magazines. Often though I find inspiration in the materials I work with as well. Whether I'm at the fabric store and I find a bolt of fabric that I can instantly see it as a new clutch or when I'm at the yarn shop and I spy some pretty grey wool yarn for some new mittens! It really depends... my ideas come out of nowhere sometimes. Other times it's a collaborative effort. For instance, a friend of mine liked all the knit animals I'd started making and asked if I could make him a crocodile. Which was something I honestly had never thought about doing before.
So working with people and their ideas fuels a lot of my inspiration as well!

4. What made you take a huge step into becoming an independent business-owner? Have any tribulations you'd love to share?
All growing up my parents always told me I could do whatever I wanted to do. Nothing was impossible if it was a dream of mine and I worked hard enough for it. I definitely attribute a lot of my success thus far to their support! Otherwise though this is just something I've pretty much always wanted to do. Though I'm not where I need to be quite yet, I think I'm definitely well on the way there and I'm willing to do the work it takes to make it the rest of the way! It definitely has it's hard days, and sometimes I have a hard time motivating myself, but I try to remember why I love what I do and also that I'd way rather be trying to knit crocodiles and taking photos of newly engaged couples than sitting behind a desk all day making phone calls and doing paper work (though there are some days like that...)

5. What's your favorite part about owning your own shop?
Coming up with new designs! It's so much fun. I have a whole bunch of new ideas for the Spring that I'm getting really excited about. I really want to incorporate more sewing into what I do (my fabric stash is almost as big as my yarn stash). I have a dress design in particular that I want to expand upon and some bag ideas as well. So keep an eye out for those!

I also love writing little notes to my customers to include with their order. It let's me send a little love along with each package and that's always fun.

6. Are your products just on etsy? Anywhere else we can find them?
At the moment yes. During the holidays this past year they were featured in a local holiday shop or two, but currently they are just online. Though I am definitely working towards having some stuff in a local store or boutique in the near future!

7. Have any tips for those wanting to start a shop, but are hesitate?
Honestly I think if you want to do something badly enough, you can do it! It just takes a lot of hard work. A lot. And weird (often late) hours. You just have to be persistent and stay motivated and sometimes you even need to decide what you're willing to give up for what you want. Because most things worth having don't come without a little sacrifice. You will definitely have mishaps and challenges, but if it's your dream it will be worth it in the end!

I also try to keep in mind that nothing's really a failure if I've learned something from it.
I have to say though that my friends and family are a huge reason why I'm able to do what I do! Their support is nothing short of essential for me. They are my biggest fans, customers, and cheerleaders. A lot of them carry around my business cards to give to everyone they come in contact with, it's the sweetest thing. I definitely couldn't have gotten this far without them!

8. And because I love all things music, who is your favorite musical artist at the moment?
Oh goodness, another hard question! Admittedly I was jamming out to my Disney music playlist while working the other day… haha. But I think I have to say Beirut is one of my all time favorite bands. I never get tired of them. Especially the song Scenic World which reminds me of sailing and summertime.

Here is a glimpse of the items she sells on her shop. I just can't wait for my future purchases!
1 // 2 // 3

Mar 3, 2013

Boston | Gold Gallery

A couple weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to pack up my bags and spend the weekend with some of my best friends in Boston. Renée, the now local, played tour guide for us as we explored South End, went shopping on Newbury Street, dined at fabulous places and literally got blown away by the wind. Aside from my freezing toes, foggy glasses and slight anxiety when it comes to big cities (I am a mountain girl at heart!), it was a wonderful trip! Boston is a kind of cold I only have nightmares about. Brrr!

While waiting for brunch, we took a little walk around South End and discovered Gold Gallery. This month they celebrate their one year anniversary! Aside from the brilliant art it is home to, what caught my initial attention was their logo and then it got even better inside. Safe to say, I think the pictures can show you proof themselves. The director told us this building was supposed to be a Dunkin Donuts I believe and then when that fell through, Gold Gallery had to set up in three weeks. What a turn of wonderful events!

Gold Gallery, thank you for being inspiring and extending the warm welcome to Boston.
The aspiring graphic design in me says Kudos to your fabulous logo + identity.

More pictures from Boston to come :)